When I got the email telling us that we’d been successful in our pitch for Bournemouth Tourism, I was very excited for two reasons. Firstly, because it was another client win (yay) but also because Bournemouth is a town close to my heart. I grew up just outside the seaside town and I studied advertising and marketing at Bournemouth University so getting the opportunity to promote Bournemouth as a brand was an exciting one.
Following on from the success of their Misconceptions campaign, created by Lee and Adam, the expectations were high. However, that was nothing compared to the pressure I was putting on myself. I got the train in to Bournemouth a little early for the meeting. I decided to kill a bit of time in Asda waiting for Adam’s train to arrive. This may seem like an odd place to kill time but this particular bright green supermarket was just across the road from the student halls. Many years ago I had spent hours in those aisles making the weekly budget go as far as possible, replacing vegetables that had grown beards or debating whether you can use a couple of Babybel for cheese on toast, or whether we needed to get some cheddar as well.
Knowing full well the unlikely possibility of it happening, I wondered if I’d round the biscuit aisle and come face to face with any of my fellow graduates. Of course, I only found students and shoppers but it did make realise how far I’d come since graduating. I left university saying that I’d have my own agency one day, and here I was – pitching back in Bournemouth with a set of strong strategies on my laptop and my own ad agency.
I’ll be frank here, the Imposter Syndrome was turned up to eleven and I was probably the most nervous I’ve been in a pitch since I presented my first script to my first client all those years ago. I’ve been through a lot since then. I’ve had a rather wibbly wobbly career path to where I am now but the idea of being my own boss at my own successful agency hadn’t waned.
The meeting went well and we left the client with the best dilemma you can leave them with – which of the amazing concepts to go with first. Walking away it began to dawn on me that this wasn’t the cyclical end to my journey. I hadn’t “made it”. I’d only just started. All those years ago, all I’d managed to envision were the first few steps. Having my own agency is one thing, running it successfully is another. Winning a piece of business isn’t the end goal, creating a successful campaign is the target. I’m not just a graduate of the university. I am a product of Bournemouth. Now it’s time to make it proud.